What Equipment Do I Have?

Telescopes and Cameras

Orion SkyView Pro 8″ Equatorial Reflector Telescope w/ Go-To Drive
(Main telescope)
Aperture: 203 mm
Focal Length: 1000 mm
Celestron 4.5″ Equatorial Reflector Telescope w/ Single Axis Clock Drive
(retired but still used for special events)
Aperture: 114 mm
Focal Length: 910 mm

Nikon d5300 w/18-55 mm & 70-300 mm focal lens
iPhone XR w/smartphone eyepiece adapter

What Are Some Great Astronomy Apps?

Here are the apps I like to use.

Image result for stellarium


This is a great simulator of the sky, and will give you the positions of the sun, moon, planets, stars, deep sky objects, and even known satellites, comets and asteroids, on any day and time from any location!

There are versions for desktop PC’s, MACs, and for your phone. Last I checked, for iPhone’s and Androids it was $1.99. According to a great friend of mine, he said “it’s the best two bucks I ever spent!”

Dark Sky Finder by Skidmore Properties LLC

This is a fantastic app that helps guide you to a dark site anywhere on Earth. It’s essentially a light pollution map over google maps, and when you find a spot to your liking, it will switch to your regular maps app and get you directions!

The colors used are represented by the Bortle Dark Sky Scale. The darker the color, the better the sky.

Where do I usually observe?

I try and observe in locations with light pollution levels no higher than Bortle Class 3. But as I’m based in Greater Los Angeles, finding spots that dark mean long drives, and spots that were super pristine even a decade ago are now more affected by light pollution than ever before.  Thanks a lot, LED’s!

When I’m organizing deep sky parties through Orion Bear Astronomy, I prefer the Cottonwood Campground in Joshua Tree National Park. You can read about our star parties and how to attend them here. 

Click Here For A List of The Best Stargazing Sites in Southern California

If you happen to discover something, what would you name it?

It will probably NEVER happen unless I’m lucky, but if that ever happened, then I’d name it after my brother, Alex, who passed away in 2007. I didn’t start getting intense with astronomy until the month’s after he died; in some ways it was symbolically me looking up to heaven.

Why the Name “Orion Bear Astronomy?” Where Does It Come From?

“He is the Maker of the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the constellations of the south.”   – Job 9:9 NIV

As you can see here, the picture includes the constellations Orion, Ursa Major (the Bear), and the Pleiades in the middle.

Bottom line is that some astronomers, or scientists for that matter, believe in a creator and some don’t. I just happen to do believe. But I also believe science deals with what you can prove and/or observe, thus my beliefs have nothing to do with scientific reasoning.

Am I religious? You can label me a Christian, but I don’t consider myself religious.
Do I believe the universe was created in six literal days? No.
Do I accept the scientific age of the Universe? Yes.
Do I accept evolution? Yes.

To anyone who visits this website, watches one of the streams, or comes to an event: I personally DON’T CARE what you believe! I don’t organize public events to preach, I organize them to get you to learn about the sky! If you are also passionate about science and astronomy, then you’re already my friend! Let’s plan a star party out in the desert and go look at some galaxies!

Support Your Neighborhood Astronomers! Help grow Orion Bear Astronomy

You know where mainstream media sites get their information? From people like us! Support Your Neighborhood Astronomers! Everything is free, but donations help keep the website alive and go towards outreach events!